The Art We Deserve? - ACE082.2

1979. The Art We Deserve? - ACE082.2.

TitleThe Art We Deserve? - ACE082.2

Some of Britain’s ten best-selling prints of paintings including Don Breckon’s Sunday Working (1975). Richard Cork’s narration points out that most of the artists are not represented in British museums, proving that "what the expert calls ‘art’ is one thing, and what people like enough to hang on their living rooms walls quite another". The exceptions are L S Lowry (An Accident, 1926) and John Constable (Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831); Cork suggests that these are popular because "they escape from the present" and the perplexities of contemporary art. Cork outside the Tate Gallery, talks about "the often unpopular objects" sometimes displayed there. He wonders if the "elite" can really continue to dismiss popular works while populists talk of "modern art ‘rubbish’", saying that "this gap between minority art and mass culture" is not "a natural, unchangeable law" and only serves to alienate the opposing sides. Tate interior: works displayed include Henri Matisse’s The Snail / L’Escargot (1953), Roy Lichtenstin’s Wham (1963), etc.; Cork reports that visitors are rarely "working class" which means that the avant garde runs the risk of producing "ingrown art" for gallery goers, rather than challenging society. Against this, "high street print shops are filled with bland, cliché-ridden images which cause as little offence as possible": inside a branch of the Athena chain. Andrea Marks, PR Consultant for Athena, believes there is a difference between "the art establishment and normal people": people buy Athena prints because they like the images, not for the name of the artist. Customers looking at pictures. Marks talks about price as another factor; she suggests that people "don’t want to be intimidated by their possessions", and says they "sell pictures rather than art". Winston and Melanie discuss the Gauguin print they’ve bought (of Nafea Faaipoipo, 1892), and wonder where to hang it in their flat; she was drawn to it by the two black faces but hadn’t considered how the colours would suit their decor. Tanya and Adrian chose a Constable (Flatford Mill, 1816-1817); she thinks it’s "restful". Windows of London galleries; Winston’s VO saying he likes paintings but can’t afford them, so tends to avoid the places where they are to be found.

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